Mr Eel needs your help!

This is our longfin eel or tuna and he is happiest living in the shadows of our lovely clear waters in New Zealand. What happens if our rivers are no longer clear because so much silt runs into them from the hills around them? Or what happens if river banks are slowly being trampled and there is no longer any shadow left for Mr Eel?

This is Oliver Vetter and he talked to our Year 5/6 team last week about something he is very passionate about – water! In his previous job as an oceanographer he has seen the damage that the interruption to the water cycle and the impact of humans has caused to not just New Zealand’s waterways but all over the world. Oliver represents an organisation called Sustainable  Coastlines and they are helping New Zealanders make our rivers and streams be beautiful again. Take a look at their website below.

Photo taken during the Travis Wetland Tree Planting. Thanks Sustainable Coastlines for letting us use this image.

Oliver gave us some friendly tips on how we could make a difference.

Plant some native trees – either at home or as part of a project. Miramar ecological restoration has some advice on finding the right plants for our environment. Native trees grow well, look good, give out lots of good oxygen and can even reverse some of the bad effects of our habitation – like the cabbage tree which actually sucks bad metals out from the ground to free up nice soil space for our lovely new trees.

Buy certified biogro – these are products that have been made with ingredients which have not had pesticides or herbicides sprayed on them and have therefore had little or no negative impact on our waterways. Look for this symbol:

Walk, scooter or bike to school – any reduction in the number of cars on the road is positive.

Oliver’s final and easiest 3 suggestions for anyone wanting to do their bit:

  1. Don’t ever use or buy the plastics that are forever being found in our stormwater drains  (heading for the sea) – plastic straws, plastic bags, bottles of shop-bought water.
  2. Pick up rubbish especially near the beach to stop it getting into the stomachs of poor sea creatures.
  3. Tell 3 people who don’t know about any of this – the more people that know, the bigger impact these little things can have.
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